Bob Harig steps back from another compelling week of golf to consider the state of the Masters and what the club is doing with all of the money that flows in. Nearly all of the improvements are outstanding in improving the fan experience, including the tastefully done new Gate 9 entry area (I should have taken photos early in the week when cameras were permitted...sorry!).
There was this from Chairman Payne's press conference about loaning the city money to help move along the city desire (eh-em) to move Berckman's Road, which should open up the opportunity to re-imagine the main fan entry and maybe even impact the 5th hole's tee shot.
"It's no secret; we have significant economic success," Payne said. "And if in the case of the city [of Augusta], it being their decision to relocate the road; and once that decision was made, we were of course anxious for it to begin because it improves the traffic flow dealing with our tournament.
"So we kind of told them, don't worry about the money, that we will advance it, loan it to you, and so it helps us because the road gets built more quickly."
Think about that. A golf club lending money to city government.
What does it all mean? Well, simply, the Masters and Augusta National are a unique sporting experience. And while big-money is the rage in all of sport, the people there put it back into the game and their tournament.
Many of you have asked what Berckman's Place looks like. The $6000-7500 enclave (depending on what Bode Miller and his quesadilla say) is not accessible to the media, perhaps because of its rather un-Masters-like emphasis on conspicuous consumption. I would, however, love to see the replica greens that were built for the beautiful people to play. I've heard those are pretty spectacular.